How he learned the shocking news that Beverlee was quitting Daytime for good…
I was there her last day when she worked on Guiding Light. It was an interesting day because she quit the job. I did her final scenes with her. We had a whole year where my character Nick [Irizarry returned to GL in 1991 to play Lujack’s long-lost twin brother] wasn’t accepting her as his mother and finally I have these scenes where I accept her as my mom. I buy the story that my parents lied and switched babies. I call her Mom and they were beautiful scenes that we did. After these scenes, she was supposed to be going on a six week vacation like she did every year. We finished the scenes and I said to her, ‘That was wonderful. Such a joy, always Beverlee, see you in six weeks.’ And she goes, ‘Oh no, you won’t.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ The crew is coming up and telling her take care, see you in a few weeks and she keeps saying no you won’t. I said, ‘What are you saying?’ She said, ‘I’m not coming back. I’m quitting the show.’ I said, ‘Does anyone know this?’ She said, ‘No, but my contract gives me six weeks notice. I’m letting them know now.’
Watch the YouTube video of Vincent and Beverlee’s final scenes together.
So the producers are coming out of the booth to wish her well and telling her that the scenes were wonderful, beautiful, and saying have a great time on vacation. I’m saying to [director] Bruce Barry, ‘She’s not coming back.’ and he turns to her and says, ‘What do you mean?’ and she says, ‘I’m giving my notice. I have a six week notice in my contract and I’m not coming back. This is my last day… I’ve had it. It’s been years. I need a break.’ It really was one of the best moments. I kept in touch with her and her son as well. When she passed, I was very sad. I even mentioned her in my Emmy speech. I had to. She was one of those people I’ve looked up to.
Why he has such respect for the legendary soap starts he’s worked with over the years…
I was also very close to Larry Gates who played [Guiding Light’s] H.B. Lewis. I loved him as well. As a young actor, I always felt that way. There are veteran actors that I look to and have great respect for. Larry was one of those journeymen who forged through and kept going with their career and they’ve always held up the level of professionalism and done exceptional work. I kept in touch with him for years when I went out to L.A. [after leaving Guiding Light]. I would write to him. When he got sick we were writing back and forth. Those are people that I really looked up to. And on this show, people like Ruth Warrick (Phoebe), Eileen Herlie (Myrtle), David Canary (Adam/Stuart), James Mitchell (Palmer). You can’t help but have a great degree of respect for them. I appreciate immensely that I’ve had the opportunity to work with every one of them.
Whether or not he would continue to play David when AMC moves online…
I don’t know. It’s so hard to answer. We don’t know what’s going on. We don’t know where any of us factor in to the plans. We’re in the process with AFTRA, with directors and writers, to determine what the code is we’re going to be using for the online shows. We’re hoping it’s going to be a network code because we’re going to be doing 260 episodes a year, all one-hour episodes. That’s a lot of shows so it can’t be new media derivatives. And even that is so ill-defined at this point. We’re trying to define it because it is groundbreaking. This is a watershed moment and other productions will be looking at this as a template so we have to be careful to know what we’re getting into.
There’s even a value for cable networks to buy second run episodes because they need content. If they get 260 hours every year, they could double, triple that by reruns. They’re getting the advertising as well. It brings into question so many areas. How do you establish this so called template? We’re not working under the grounds of new media when we’re doing this level of production. And [Prospect Park] is saying they don’t want to dumb down production they want to enhance it. It of course has to come with a price so we’ll see where it all goes.
I don’t know where David factors in so it’s hard for me to say. Do I want to continue as David? I do if it’s something that makes sense. We’ll see. We have months now in between that we don’t know what we’re going to be doing. Anything can happen in those months. But it’s been a fantastic journey. My brother and sister are the ones in the living room watching me now. And their kids can see me in supermarkets on magazine covers and say, ‘Hey, there’s Uncle Vincent!’